Eagle eyed visitors to the Black Flag will recognise the name Kik, half of which are Presley and D’Lear presenters of the excellent Sanctuary Xposed podcast, of which we’re lucky enough to host here on the Black Flag. The boys are joined by band mates Damian Rider and Marcus Dale for this incredible album, which took over four years to record. And you can tell why. Clearly a hell of a lot of work has gone into this brilliantly produced, down and gritty rock n roll classic.
Album opener ‘Sensation’ quickly drifts into ‘Sweet Ambition’ a very guitar centric track with dirty, infectious vocals. These first two tracks kick off the album nicely and set the tone sufficiently to draw the listener in.
God Gave her to Me
‘God Gave Her to Me’ has a bass line that literally punches you square in the solar plexus; seriously the bass in this track is pounding. I’ve been listening to this in my car and I’ve gotta say the speakers in my V Reg Renault Megan will probably never recover. With dark, angst ridden lyrics, this track is increasingly infectious and best to listen to with the volume turned right up to eleven.
‘Define my Love’ is, I believe, a synth heavy interpretation of unrequited love. The song instrumentally and lyrically gets more and more manic and haunting as it progresses into a potential rock n roll classic. While ‘4Ever’ has an altogether eighties electronic feel to it that is compelling while at the same time managing to slightly disturb you. ‘4Ever’ isn’t the kind of thing that I’d generally listen to, but the track does manage to keep me interested and I will come back to it.
Define my Love
‘Ever twisting Face’ is a heavy rock floor filler with enough energy to incite a mosh pit to be proud of. Thrown in are some robotic elements and provocative sound bites that accentuate the sexual overtones of this track, before ending of course, with the inevitable orgasm.
‘Fall in Love’ is probably my least favourite track on the album. Instrumentally it’s a strong, tight track yet the lyrics are a bit too robotic for my liking, which isn’t to say it’s awful, just not my kind of thing. ‘Crack Whore Barbie’ on the other hand is easily one of my favourites. Right from the start of the track, with its moody, foreboding intro, it tells you an incredibly dark and twisted story that manages to keep you on edge both lyrically and instrumentally. This track is where the band come into their own and really show you what they can do. It’s very reminiscent of NIN when they were at their best. This really is an excellent track and I’m definitely going to pull it out the next time that I DJ.
‘Ecstasy’ is another rock n roll floor filler with an eighties infusion and a metal edge that races along at 100 miles an hour. Listen to it a few time’s and I challenge you not to play air guitar across your living room. ‘Gimme the Word’ though not the best track on the album still manages to pull off some excellent guitar work and vocals and is a really nice filler track.
‘Amphetamine’ is another of my favourite tracks on the album, though possibly because of a certain familiarity with the subject matter. Never the less its frantic lyrics and manic instrumental will definitely appeal to both kinds of speed freak. Again its dark and edgy with an excellent riff that drags you along by your throat!
‘Automatic Doll’ kicks off with an almost prodigy-esque intro and becomes steadily more experimental as it develops. This track experiments with so many musical styles it’s hard to fit it into a particular niche. ‘Re-Load’ is another fast paced track that races along with some mean guitar hooks and Kiks trademark alternating vocal effects.
The album closes with ‘Sensations Down’ a nice atmospheric track which is instrumentally perfect, vocally haunting and manages to tie together every song that came before it.
Overall I really enjoyed ‘Rock Scar’. In this world that has been consumed by watered down dirge from the X-factor, its living breathing proof that the most exciting music is coming via unsigned bands from the underground.